Updated: Nov 27, 2014 1:42 pm Eastern Standard Time (GMT -05:00)
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Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

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The Pillars of the Earth Game Announced

Daedalic Entertainment announces plans to develop a video game based on The Pillars of the Earth, the bestselling novel by Ken Follett which has already been adapted as a television miniseries. The material would suggest a building sim, but word is this will be an adventure game coming to Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and iOS in 2017, coinciding with the release of Follett's next book:

The project – an adventure game – is scheduled to be published in 2017 on all leading platforms. Amongst others, releases are planned for PC, Mac, Xbox One™, PlayStation®4 and iOS.

This is the first official Ken Follett videogame to be developed. It will revolve around the story of Follett’s best-selling novel “The Pillars of the Earth”. At the same time, Ken Follett is also working on a new novel, which is scheduled to be published in fall 2017, and will be taking readers back to the fictitious medieval town of Kingsbridge in South England.

“Simultaneously to the release of the third Kingsbridge novel in fall 2017, the video game based on ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ will be published on all consoles, PC and mobile devices. We are very proud to not only prolong our long lasting and successful partnership with the exceptional, best-selling author Ken Follett, but to also extend it to new media channels”, explains Thomas Schierack, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG.

Endless Space & Endless Legend Free Content

Amplitude Studios is offering new free content for both Endless Legend and Endless Space, coinciding with holiday sales on each game. Here's the deal:

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and award-winning developer Amplitude Studios revealed today a treasure chest of new, free add-on content for this year’s widely acclaimed Endless Legend and its award-winning predecessor Endless Space, while simultaneously announcing massively discounted prices for the Amplitude Endless Pack. Free add-on “Visions of the Unseen” gives 4X fantasy-strategy game Endless Legend a new minor faction (the community-chosen “Eyeless One”), 10 new side-quests, plus more than 10 significant enhancements, adjustments and improvements, while its predecessor Endless Space Disharmony’s replay value grows yet again with “Chronicles of the Lost,” featuring eight new Exploration Random Events, 24 Colonization Random Events, The Vaulters introduction and tons more.

To top it off, only during the Steam Autumn sale, Iceberg Interactive and Amplitude Studios offer gamers the Amplitude Endless Pack, a three-game pack featuring discounted prices for the Emperor Edition of Endless Legend (-33%), the Emperor Pack for Endless Space and Endless Space Disharmony (-66%), and the Dungeon of the Endless Crystal Pack (-33%), plus a 33% discount on top.

Path of Exile PvP Update Next Month

Grinding Gear Games announces details on an upcoming version 1.3.0 patch coming to Path of Exile, which will bring new PvP content to their action/RPG. For some reason they are committing to a specific release date and time for the patch, saying it will come on December 12th at 8:00 pm EST. This page has all the details on the update, and here's an overview:

Content Update 1.3.0 will bring forth various new enhancements to Path of Exile, with a heavy focus on improving and accentuating Path of Exile's PvP elements. These additions and improvements include but are not limited to: new Torment and Bloodlines Challenge Leagues, a new PvP-focused Forsaken Master, competitive PvP tournaments with regular Seasons, PvP-only characters, new gems and Unique items, a massive update to the Passive Skill Tree, and much more.

The Witcher Adventure Game Released

GOG.com announces the release of The Witcher Adventure Game, a computer game based on a board game based on The Witcher series of, yes, computer games. Take this red pill and discover how deep the rabbit hole goes:

The Witcher Adventure Game, the digital installment of the Fantasy Flight board game set in the dark fantasy realm of The Witcher, is available 10% off for the first week on GOG.com! If you were taking part in the beta-test program for this title, you get a special (non-stackable) 40% off discount, valid until December 27.

The Witcher Adventure Game takes players on a journey across the world of the Witcher as they assume the roles of four distinct characters known from the books and video games: Geralt of Rivia, monster slayer; Triss Merigold, cunning sorceress; Yarpen Zigrin, dwarven warrior; and Dandelion, roguish bard. Each character has unique skills and multiple ways of overcoming obstacles - the choice is yours: do you fight your way to victory, call on your charm or try your hand at diplomacy? It's the true spirit of board gaming brought straight to your computer screen. Set in the mature and brutal world of The Witcher the game features 4 unique heroes with different skills and approaches to problem solving. With clear, simple rules and intuitive mechanics, tons of quest cards allow players to tell a new tale every time they play. Look adventure in the eye in a world with which you'll fall in love!

Get The Witcher Adventure Game, for only $8.99 (or $5.99 if you were among the beta-testers!), 10% off until December 4, 10:59AM GMT, on GOG.com. The 40% off special discount for beta-test participants remains valid one month after the game's release until December 27.

Continue here to read the full story.

Trainz: A New Era in February

N3V Games and Deep Silver announce a February 27, 2015 release date for Trainz: A New Era, a new installment intended to propel the railway series into the future (except for the whole s/z dealie). A new video features the game's developers discussing the game's interface and graphics, and here's word on the release date:

Trainz: A New Era will ship supporting multiple languages, and will be released via major digital online retailers Steam and Simulator Central, as well as traditional physical retailers throughout the world making it available to both rail fans and casual gamers.

Trainz: A New Era is built upon the new custom "E2" engine specifically designed for Trainz. With support for modern hardware, the engine will deliver more realistic graphics and a range of new features such as procedurally generated animated junctions and realistic train motion based upon track condition.

Key features include:

  • New graphics engine with full world shadows and per-pixel lighting
  • Real-time physics feedback and editing tools
  • Procedural animated spline junctions
  • Realistic cab sway and external train motion
  • Configurable control schemes
  • Multi-window support
  • Multiplayer
  • In-game downloadable content system for both payware and freeware options
  • Access to over 250,000 free DLC items via The Download Station

To find out more about Trainz please visit: www.trainzportal.com

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Thanksgiving Crowdfunding Roundup

Thanksgiving Consolidation

Thanksgiving Mobilization

Thanksgiving Metaverse

Thanksgiving Tech Bits

Thanksgiving Safety Dance

Thanksgiving Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition Gaming Laptop on TweakTown.
  • ASUS Z97-Pro Gamer on ocaholic.
  • CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Topre Switch Keyboard on eTeknix.
  • Corsair Gaming M65 RGB on Vortez.
  • Silverstone Noble Breeze NB05 Notebook Cooler on eTeknix.
  • Zotac ZBOX CA320 nano PLUS on AnandTech.


Out of the Blue

The weather forecasts were correct about the snow yesterday, but wrong in saying that's where it would end, as it's snowing again out there. A White Thanksgiving is an unusual sight in these parts, though nothing compared to the White Halloween we had a few years ago. I dug us out already, and it seems like what's now falling on the sidewalk is melting, so with the Chex Mix already made, I can start concentrate on just how much I will be eating. Here's hoping you are all safe and warm with something for which to feel thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thankful Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Party Hard.
Driving Force.
Nitro Maniacs.
Links: Black Friday Death Count. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
10 Unforgettable Photos Of Cats. Thanks JDreyer.
Science: Better than shade: Rooftop material sheds heat into space.
Images: The Blues 9 - Worth1000 Contests.
Media: Freeman's Mind: Episode 62.
Meet the Most Oblivious Park Ranger in GTA History.
CALL OF DUTY: Advanced Warfare (Elders React- Gaming).

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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

Assassin’s Creed Unity Free DLC Offered; Season Passes Discontinued

An Update on Assassin’s Creed Unity from Yannis Mallat details a dramatic gesture from Ubisoft to compensate customers for launch problems with Assassin's Creed Unity along with word of the release of the promised third patch for the stealth/action game (thanks Guile). Word is they will now give the Dead Kings DLC to everyone who owns the game. They will also give season pass holders a free game, and while they say: "Season Pass holders will continue to have access to a variety of additional content, including Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China," they also say: "We are discontinuing sales of the Season Pass." All the details are in an Assassins Creed Unity Offer FAQ, and here's the overview:

We’ve been working hard to fix the problems players are reporting, and the patches we have released so far have resolved many of them. Today, we’re releasing our third patch, which fixes a variety of specific issues related to the game’s stability and performance, matchmaking and connectivity, gameplay and menus. You can find the release notes on that patch here: Patch 3 Notes

To show our appreciation for your continued support, we’re making the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity Dead Kings DLC free for everyone. For Season Pass holders, we will also offer the choice of one additional game from a selection of Ubisoft titles for free. More details on the offer for Season Pass holders can be found here: AC Unity FAQ

In addition to the latest patch and this offer, we are committed to delivering further fixes for other issues you’ve raised. In the meantime, please keep your feedback coming – it has been both humbling and incredibly helpful as we continue working hard to improve the overall quality of the game. We are hopeful that with these forthcoming updates, everyone will be able to truly enjoy their Assassin’s Creed Unity experience.

We will continue striving to make Assassin’s Creed one of the most ambitious and innovative franchises on the market, and we thank you for your continued loyalty and support.

Steam Autumn Sale

As expected, the autumn sale is underway on Steam, which this year they are calling the "exploration sale."Here's word from Steam News: "The Steam Exploration Sale is here! For the next six days, take advantage of huge savings throughout the Steam store on thousands of titles. Plus, discover new and recommended games on your personalized Exploration Sale page here. Check back each day for new Daily Deals." This will run between now and December 2nd, and according to the main page, there are 5,636 titles on sale. Some of these are featured deals that will run for just 48 hours, and here is the first batch of featured these:

Free Torchlight

Arc Games is now offering Torchlight for free, a limited time promotion for Runic's action/RPG that concludes on Sunday. During that period they are also offering a sale on Torchlight II, which is currently 75% off. Word is: "Torchlight and Torchlight II are the latest additions to a list of games available on Arc, including APB: Reloaded, the first third-party game released on the platform." Here's the description of Torchlight as a refresher: "Players will choose from among three character classes, and venture from the safety of the town of Torchlight into randomly generated dungeon levels, with a huge variety of creepy monsters, endless variations of loot to find, and quests to complete. The endless randomization ensures a long-lived gameplay experience."

Skyforge Beta Key Minigame

Those interested in Skyforge have an opportunity to score a beta key this sci-fi fantasy MMORPG in the works at Obsidian and Allods Team by playing this minigame. Here's the explanation of how this works:

Running from now until December 23, fans can visit Skyforge.com and play for a chance to win a closed beta key along with exclusive souvenirs and amazing prizes from My.com, Creative and NVIDIA. In the mini-game, players have seven attempts daily to find as many blue gems as possible on a board of 21 gems. To win a closed beta key one should collect 5 blue gems. Along the way they’ll find several surprises, and a special leaderboard will keep track of players’ progress. The top 20 players on the leaderboard each week will also receive an invitation to Skyforge closed beta. Additionally, the player who places in first in the leaderboard rankings each week will receive a Sound Blaster EVO ZXR Headset. Other prizes include an exclusive Skyforge Souvenir Gift Set, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 graphics card.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Announced; PC Upgrade Details

BANDAI NAMCO Games America announces Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, a repackaging of Dark Souls II along with all three DLC packs and some additional new features. This will be accompanied by a new patch for owners of the Dark: Souls II with some of the improvements in the new release. One thing from Scholar of the First Sin that it seems will not be in the patch is improved DirectX 11 graphics support, but IncGamers.com notes that screenshots of the new version don't seem that different than the old one. They also point the way to a tweet suggesting some of this may be a paid upgrade for PC gamers: "We'll have lots more info in the next month regarding PC versions/upgrades/etc. so stay tuned :)"

Dark Souls GFWL/Steamworks Migration Delayed

Related to the story above, an update to the thread about Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition Steam migration has word that plans to migrate the action/RPG sequel from Games for Windows LIVE to Steamworks are being delayed for further testing (thanks GameSpot):

We are working hard to finalize the process to move your Dark Souls: Prepare to Die saves and achievements to Steam. We need to conduct additional testing and we are now targeting December to begin this process. We'll have more information in the coming weeks. Thank you very much for your patience!

Steamship Ahoy - Warhammer 40,000 Armageddon

Matrix Games announces it is now Armagideon Time, as they have released Warhammer 40,000 Armageddon, a turn-based strategy expansion for Windows PCs. The release is now up on Steam, and it carries a 25% discount for the next week. A trailer released last week offers a look, and here's the announcement:

A massive Space Hulk is drifting towards Armageddon with a fearsome Ork army on board. Led by the infamous and megalomaniacal Ork Warlord of Waaagh! Ghazghkull, the Orks are prepared to land on the planet and invade this precious Imperial Hive World. This colossal conflict for dominance of the planet is known as the Second War for Armageddon! In Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon, players have the opportunity to relive this epic fight between the Orks and Imperial forces including the troops of the Armageddon Steel Legion and three chapters of Spaces Marines: the Salamanders, Blood Angels and Ultramarines.

Today we are overjoyed to announce that the game is finally released and available on both our sites and Steam! In this hex-based, turn-based strategy game developed by Flashback Games and The Lordz Games Studio, players will fight alongside iconic characters such as Commander Yarrick and Lord Dante to repel the Ork invasion, protect the hives, and eventually liberate the planet from this perfidious alien attack. But the Orks are well equipped and hard-boiled soldiers, therefore only those commanders able to expertly combine their units, take advantage of their special traits and abilities, and understand the assets and dangers of their environment will have a chance to save Armageddon!

Thanks to its epic story-driven campaign with more than 30 scenarios, over 300 unit types, a multiplayer mode in which players can command both Ork and Imperial forces, and a powerful map editor, fans of Warhammer 40,000 should prepare themselves for a long and heroic journey across the surface of Armageddon!

We are offering a $10 discount to the early adopters during the week of the launch! We are also going to offer a free Steam key to anyone who bought a copy of the game from the Matrix Games or Slitherine store, once the game is available on this digital platform!

Continue here to read the full story.

Blackguards 2 in January

Daedalic Entertainment announces plans to release Blackguards 2 on January 20th, which is when the strategy/RPG sequel will be released worldwide for Windows and OS X. A trailer released a couple of weeks ago offers part one of a look at new features in the sequel, and here's the news on the release:

During the development of Blackguards 2, one major influence of our team was the feedback of gamers and press to the first Blackguards-game. We listened to them and added new features, unique enemies and enhanced and improved gameplay. In Blackguards 2, battles will be even more epic, and their handling has been significantly tweaked to make them more comprehensible, but also more challenging. Gamers can test out themselves how much more fun Blackguards 2 will be from January 20th onwards.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Getaway Day Patches

Getaway Day Interviews

Getaway Day Consolidation

Getaway Day Mobilization

Getaway Day Metaverse

Getaway Day Tech Bits

Getaway Day Safety Dance

Getaway Day Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today is getaway day for those traveling for tomorrow's Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. This is not working out very well in these parts, as we are in the midst of a classic nor'easter, and there is snow everywhere, with more on the way. This shouldn't affect us too badly personally, as most of our shopping is done, but I can only imagine how this is complicating people's already complicated travel plans, so if you are heading out there, best of luck, and here's hoping you can stay safe, warm, and dry as you make your way.

Snowy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Grapple Cat.
The Nameless.
Not Alone.
Stories: "Galaxy Quest" Star Doesn't Want A Sequel.
Meet Arthur the stray dog who followed an extreme sports team through the Amazon rainforest. Thanks reddit.
Science: Evolving bacteria to produce more of all sorts of useful chemicals.
Gene discovered that reduces risk of stroke.
Imagination, reality flow in opposite directions in the brain.
Media: Watch two hours of deleted scenes from the original Star Wars Trilogy. Thanks nin.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 8 Bit Cinema.
BATMAN vs DARTH VADER - Super Power Beat Down.
See an epic semi jump for a world record — with an F1 car underneath. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Follow-ups: Ridley Scott won't direct 'Blade Runner' sequel.
Solving the Riddles of an Early Astronomical Calculator. Thanks j.c.f.

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